Yes, It Really Does Sound Like a Freight Train

If you've been tuned into the news and/or weather channel(s) this week, you've probably heard our city's name a few times.  High Point was hit by an EF-3 tornado on Sunday night during a wave of severe thunderstorms that dumped nearly 2.5 inches of rain on us during the evening hours.  What a night!

We are among the fortunate.  The worst strike was in area about a half-mile from us, where houses were damaged in several neighborhoods, including Blairwood.  (If you know where we live, you will know how close we are to that area.)  We were watching the constant weather reports (thank goodness we still had electricity), trying to figure out where the danger was, when both Mr. T and I heard the proverbial freight train sound, roaring through the back yard.  We have Duke Energy transmission lines going through the back, so we surmise that the leveled ground...no trees...allowed the sound to be magnified.  Anyway, we hustled N/M/E and the three dogs into the laundry room to wait out the warning...which brought a couple of thoughts to the surface:

  1. I never thought I'd say it, but I miss my MO basement.  Basements are rare in this area (although we did have one in our former HPNC home, oddly enough).  But, in the "be thankful for small mercies" category, I'm glad our laundry room is as "large" as it is (relatively speaking, of course) because many who were interviewed on TV reported taking cover in their pantries...or under a stairwell. We had already discussed what we would do in case of a tornado, and the laundry room had been designated as our refuge.
  2. I'm glad we no longer are facing tornado activity in the Midwest.  There, with everything being so flat, you have danger all around you for 20-30 minutes or more, after the tornado sirens sound.  Here, it was over almost before we knew it.  Swoop!  The tornado spun out of the thunderstorm, did its destruction, and was gone again.  No more than 5 minutes (for that one).  Of course, this means that you'd better know where the counties and communities are around you...when they mention that a tornado has been confirmed in Welcome, NC, for instance...you need to know how close that is to you...cause it will be on top of you before you have time to look at a map.  Trust me on that last point.
Anyway, yesterday was a day of discovery.  We got the first pictures of the destruction...and were shocked at what we saw.  As we are under a State of Emergency here, and they have asked that we not go into any of the areas just to "take a look," we haven't seen Ground Zero yet.  But, as we were leaving our neighborhood to head to the vet (for Duchess), I snapped this blurry shot across the lake near the intersection of Skeet Club, Waterview, and Kendale...where there was a constant traffic jam caused by the redirected traffic.  The blue tarp on the roof of this house and the raw wood on the tree trunks are a visual indicator of how much destruction can occur in just a heartbeat.

Yes, very fortunate indeed.

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